Consumers Charged After Cancelling Online Service

According to recent press reports, some of the biggest companies on the Internet are failing to cancel online subscriptions after being requested to do so by their customers, or these companies are making cancellation so difficult that customers are unable to cancel when they try. PC World magazine, in an article published in December 2006, identified the worst offenders:

    Difficult to cancel AOL
  • AOL
  • ESPN
  • MSN Internet
  • NetZero
  • Real Rhapsody
  • Real SuperPass

Many of these providers make it very easy for a customer to sign up for their services through websites. But when the customer tries to cancel, he or she finds that the process is complex, confusing and at least sometimes downright dishonest.

Some of the companies made cancelling difficult or impossible through a variety of tactics, including:
  • Providing no means of cancellation through their websites, or burying cancellation instructions in a way intended to make it extremely difficult for the consumer to find those instructions.

  • Requiring the consumer to make a phone call to a "customer service" line in order to cancel, and then placing the consumer on hold for extended periods of times, or having "customer service representatives" who claim not to be able to cancel an account.

  • Ignoring or failing to document requests for cancellation sent by email or made over the phone.

  • Including various "fine print" provisions in online agreements that make cancellation extremely difficult and/or provide excuses for the company to ignore cancellation requests.
In some cases, certain companies are reported to have charged customers monthly fees even after the customer validly cancels. This can cause problems for customers, including extra interest and fees on credit cards, or overdraw bank accounts.

Lawyers for consumers across the country are beginning to investigate these types of practices and a number of lawsuits have already been brought against certain companies. These lawsuits seek to recover damages for injured consumers and also to force the companies to change their systems so that customers can easily and verifiably cancel subscriptions or accounts. One of the law firms investigating these practices is Tycko & Zavareei LLP (, which represents the interests of consumers who have been injured by corporate wrongdoing.

Online Service Cancellation Articles

Online Companies in Trouble for Billing Practices
A number of online companies are in trouble for deceptive practices related to their cancellation policies.

America Online services: Still Difficult to Cancel
If you have ever found yourself frustrated by trying to cancel your online services, you are not alone. A recent report in PC World magazine listed the 13 worst companies for online cancellation procedures. Among those on the list were AOL (America Online),, NetZero, and

Online Service Cancellation In The News

Register your Online Service Cancellation Complaint

If you have had problems cancelling or been charged after you had cancelled an online service or subscription, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action or lawsuit. Please fill in our form on the right to submit your complaint to a lawyer for a free evaluation.
Last updated April 3 2007

Reader Comments

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Can't you use this website for something more fulfilling? Money is money , you meet people in person?

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